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IT Nation: With Kit, ConnectWise Hopes To Simplify Integrations

ConnectWise, which is touting its many integrations and industry openness as a differentiator in an increasingly competitive market, previewed a new developer kit that will make it faster and easier for partners to build on its platform.

CEO Arnie Bellini unveiled the ConnectWise Developer Kit on Thursday in the opening keynote of the company's IT Nation conference in Orlando, Fla.

"This is about giving you a tool that will generate code automatically and lets you very quickly add to the ConnectWise platform with your solution," Bellini said of the kit, which is in a pilot phase after a two-year development process and is expected to be generally available in the second quarter of 2018.

The company currently boasts more than 200 third-party integrations, developed over the years through co-engineering projects, APIs and SDKs.

Bellini said the new kit will streamline integrations for those third parties, but will also make it possible for the company's managed service provider (MSP) customers to tailor the ConnectWise platform to their unique needs or to create their own connections to key applications that aren't already integrated.

ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini announced a new developer kit and angel investment fund at IT Nation to spur vendor and partner integrations. (Source: Scott Bekker)

"This developer kit is not just about our vendor partners, but it's also about you and especially our larger partners," Bellini told many of the 3,500 attendees during the opening keynote.

In a short on-stage demo, ConnectWise Chief Product Officer Craig Fulton built one of the integrations, called a pod, in about a minute, joking that he's not a developer, but he can drag and drop.

"We'll still give you the APIs, we'll still give you the SDKs, but this is the tool that we see that unifies this ecosystem," Fulton said.

In conjunction with the new tool, Bellini offered a tantalizing hint of new funding ConnectWise will make available for partners to further build out the ecosystem.

"We have raised a fund that's up to $10 million at this point, and we hope to get it up to $25M," he said. "We want to be angel investors for those of you that can help us connect this ecosystem together." In an interview later, Bellini said the angel investment fund doesn't have a name yet, but will be run out of ConnectWise Capital.

Meanwhile, ConnectWise is moving forward with its traditional style of partnership/API/SDK integrations. The company was joined on stage by Nirav Sheth, vice president of Cisco's Global Partner Organization for Solutions, Architectures & Engineering, to talk about the companies' new partnership effort announced last week. ConnectWise and Cisco are working together on ConnectWise Unite, which will allow Cisco partners to do cloud-based management, automation and billing for Cisco Spark, Cisco Meraki, Cisco Umbrella and Cisco Stealthwatch.

As a privately held company, ConnectWise finds itself surrounded by IT service management companies with private equity backing, including Kaseya, Continuum, SolarWinds MSP and Autotask, which just combined with Datto. Last month, former Tech Data CEO Steve Raymund joined the ConnectWise board of directors and is helping the company evaluate options for outside financing.

Posted by Scott Bekker on November 09, 2017 at 9:35 AM